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House of Hasan-Jalalyan

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Title: House of Hasan-Jalalyan  
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Language: English
Subject: Melikdoms of Karabakh, Stepanavan, Bagratuni dynasty, Gandzasar monastery, History of Armenia
Collection: Armenian Nobility, Armenian Noble Families, Hasan-Jalalyan Family, History of Nagorno-Karabakh
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

House of Hasan-Jalalyan

Country Artsakh
Parent house Aranshahik
Bagratuni Dynasty
Arsacid Dynasty
Founded 1214
Founder Hasan-Jalal Dawla
Final ruler Allahverdi II Hasan-Jalalyan
Ethnicity Armenian
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The House of Hasan-Jalalyan (Armenian: Հասան-Ջալալյաններ) was an Armenian dynasty[1] that ruled the region of Khachen (Greater Artsakh) from 1214 onwards in what are now the regions of lower Karabakh, Nagorno-Karabakh and small part of Syunik.[2] It was named after Hasan-Jalal Dawla (Հասան-Ջալալ Դոլա), an Armenian feudal prince from Khachen. The Hasan-Jalalyan family was able to maintain its autonomy throughout several centuries of foreign domination of the region by Seljuk Turks, Persians and Mongols as they, as well as the other Armenian princes and meliks of Khachen, saw themselves of holding the last bastion of Armenian independence in the region.[3]

Through their many patronages of churches and other monuments, the Hasan-Jalalyans helped cultivate Armenian culture throughout the region. By the late sixteenth century, the Hasan-Jalalyan family had branched out to establish melikdoms in Gulistan and Jraberd, making them, along with Khachen, Varanda and Dizak, a part of what was then known as the "Melikdoms of Khamsa."[4]


  • Origins 1
  • Reign under Hasan-Jalal Dawla 2
    • Culture 2.1
    • Hasan-Jalal's Armenian Synaxarion 2.2
    • Mongol invasion 2.3
  • Later family rule 3
    • Liberation movement 3.1
  • Hasan-Jalalyans today 4
  • See also 5
  • External links 6
  • Further reading 7
  • Notes 8


Hasan-Jalal traced his descent to the Armenian Aranshahik dynasty, a family that predated the establishment of the Parthian Arsacids in the region.[5][6] Hasan-Jalal's ancestry was "almost exclusively" Armenian according to historian Robert H. Hewsen, a professor at Rowan University and an expert on the history of the Caucasus:

Much of Hasan-Jalal Dawla's family roots were entrenched in an intricate array of royal marriages with new and old Armenian nakharar families. Hasan-Jalal's grandfather was Hasan I (also known as Hasan the Great), a prince who ruled over the northern half of Artsakh.[8] In 1182, he stepped down as ruler of the region and entered monastery life at Dadivank, and divided his land into two: the southern half (comprising much of Khachen) went to his oldest son Vakhtank II (also known as Tangik) and the northern half went to the youngest, Gregory "the Black." Vakhtank II married Khorishah Zakarian, who was herself the daughter of Sargis Zakarian, the progenitor of the Zakarid line of princes.[9] When he married the daughter of the Aṛanshahik king of Dizak-Balk, Mamkan, Hasan-Jalal also inherited his father-in-law's lands.[10]

In the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Hasan-Jalal’s origins became a part of a larger debate revolving around the history of Artsakh between Armenian and Azerbaijani scholars. In addition to the position held almost solely by Azerbaijani historians that much of Artsakh at the time was under heavy Caucasian Albanian influence, they also contend that the population and monuments were not Armenian but Caucasian Albanian in origin (this argument has also been employed against Armenian monuments in the region of Nakhichevan).[11] Among the foremost revisionists who expounded these views were Ziya Bunyadov and Farida Mamedova. Mamedova herself asserted that Hasan-Jalal, based upon her interpretation of an inscription carved into the Gandzasar Monastery by the prince, was Caucasian Albanian. Armenian historians as well as experts of the region such as Hewsen, reject her conclusions, along with the notion held in Azerbaijan, that the Armenians “stole” Caucasian Albania’s culture.[12]

Reign under Hasan-Jalal Dawla


With the surrender of

  • Hewsen, Robert H. "The Kingdom of Arc'ax" in Medieval Armenian Culture (University of Pennsylvania Armenian Texts and Studies). Thomas J. Samuelian and Michael E. Stone (eds.) Chico, California: Scholars Press, 1984, pp. 42–68, ISBN 0-89130-642-0
  • "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia: A Preliminary Study." Revue des Études Arméniennes 9 (1972), pp. 255–329.
  • "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia: II." Revue des Études Arméniennes 10 (1973–1974), pp. 281–303.
  • "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia: III." Revue des Études Arméniennes 11 (1975–1976), pp. 219–243.
Primary Sources
  • Esayi Hasan Jalaleants. A Brief History of the Aghuank Region, trans. by George Bournoutian. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2009.
  • Kirakos Gandzaketsi. History of Armenia. Trans. Robert Bedrosian.
Secondary and Tertiary Sources
  • (Russian) Orbeli, Joseph. Асан Жалал дoла, Kниаз Xaчeнcки [Hasan-Jalal Dawla, Lord of Khachen]. Izvestiia Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk 3 (1909). Reprinted in Izbrannii Trudi. Yerevan, 1963.
  • (Russian) Raffi. The Melikdoms of Khamsa. Yerevan: Nairi, 1991.
  • (French)
  • (Armenian) Ulubabyan, Bagrat. Խաչենի իշխանությունը, X-XVI դարերում [The Principality of Khachen, From the Tenth to Sixteenth centuries]. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1975.
  • (Armenian) Ulubabyan, Bagrat. "Hasan-Jalal Dawla" and "Hasan-Jalalyan Family" in Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. vol. 6. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1980.
  • (Armenian) Board of editors of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, edited by Tsatur P. Aghayan et al. "Հայ ժողովուրդը Ֆեոդալիզմի վայրԷջքի ժամանակշրջանում, XVI-XVIII դդ." [The Armenian People and the Period of Decline of Feudalism from the Fourteenth to Eighteenth Century] in History of the Armenian People. vol. 5. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1976.


  1. ^ Bayarsaikhan Dashdondog. The Mongols and the Armenians (1220-1335). — BRILL, 2010. — p. 34.:"The subjects of Iwanē's family were the Orbelians, Khaghbakians, Dopians, HasanJalalians and others (see Map 4).18 The representatives of these major Armenian families entered into direct contact with the Mongols in order to retain their conquered lands, the discussion of which follows in nest chapters."
  2. ^ a b (Armenian) Ulubabyan, Bagrat. «Հասան-Ջալալյաններ» [Hasan-Jalalyans]. Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1980, vol. 6, p. 246.
  3. ^ Hewsen, Robert H. "The Kingdom of Arc'ax" in Medieval Armenian Culture (University of Pennsylvania Armenian Texts and Studies). Thomas J. Samuelian and Michael E. Stone (eds.) Chico, California: Scholars Press, 1984, pp. 52-53. ISBN 0-89130-642-0
  4. ^ Hewsen, Robert H. "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia: A Preliminary Study." Revue des Études Arméniennes 9 (1972), pp. 299-301.
  5. ^ Ulubabyan, Bagrat (1975). Խաչենի իշխանությունը, X-XVI դարերում [The Principality of Khachen, From the Tenth to Sixteenth centuries] (in Հայերեն). Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences. pp. 56–59. 
  6. ^  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Hewsen. "The Kingdom of Arc'ax", p. 47.
  9. ^ a b c d (Armenian) Ulubabyan, Bagrat. «Հասան-Ջալալ Դոլա» [Hasan-Jalal Dawla]. Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1980, vol. 6, p. 246.
  10. ^ Hewsen. "The Kingdom of Arc'ax", p. 49.
  11. ^ Karny, Yo’av (2000). Highlanders: A Journey to the Caucasus in Quest of Memory. New York: Douglas & McIntyre. pp. 373–384.  
  12. ^ De Waal. Black Garden, pp. 152-156.
  13. ^  
  14. ^ Bournoutian. Armenian People, pp. 109-111.
  15. ^ Hewsen. "The Kingdom of Arc'ax", p. 50.
  16. ^ Hewsen notes that because of Hasan-Jalal's lineage, he could have "At one and the same time...legitimately style himself King of Siwnik [Syunik], King of Balk, King of Arc'ax [Artskah], and King of Albania, not to mention Prince of Gardman, Dizak, and Xac'en [Khachen] - as well as Presiding Prince of Albania - as he chose.": "The Kingdom of Arc'ax", pp. 49-50.
  17. ^ a b Kirakos Gandzaketsi. History of the Armenians. Translated by Robert Bedrosian.
  18. ^ Hewsen (1972). "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia", p. 317.
  19. ^ Eastmond, Anthony (2004). Art and Identity in Thirteenth-Century Byzantium: Hagia Sophia and the Empire of Trebizond. Burlington,VT: Ashgate. p. 92.  
  20. ^ Eastmond, Art and Identity, p. 144.
  21. ^ Minorsky, Vladimir. "Caucasica IV," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 3 (1953), pp. 504-505.
  22. ^ a b (Armenian) Hasan-Jalalyans. The Hasan-Jalalyans, Charitable, Cultural Foundation of Country Development. Accessed December 24, 2007.
  23. ^ (Armenian) Avdalbekyan, Mayis. «Հայսմավուրկ» [Haysmavurk]. Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1980, vol. 6, pp. 202-203.
  24. ^ Lane, George E. (2003). Early Mongol Rule in Thirteenth-Century Iran: A Persian Renaissance. London: Routledge. p. 63.  
  25. ^ a b Lane. Early Mongol Rule, p. 259.
  26. ^ a b Kirakos Gandzaketsi. History of Armenia, Chapter 63: The death of pious prince Jalal, [g389-392]
  27. ^ a b Hewsen. "The Kingdom of Arc'ax", p. 53.
  28. ^ Hacikyan, Agop Jack; Gabriel Basmajian; Edward S. Franchuk (2005). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the Eighteenth Century to Modern Times, vol. 3. Detroit:  
  29. ^ a b (Armenian) Svazyan, H. «Եսայի Հասան-Ջալալյան» [Yesayi Hasan-Jalalyan]. Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, vol. 3, pp. 523-524.
  30. ^ Bournoutian. Armenian People, pp. 236-237.
  31. ^ Bournoutian. Armenian People, pp. 237-238.
  32. ^ Hewsen (1972). "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia", p. 318.
  33. ^ Hewsen (1972). "The Meliks of Eastern Armenia", pp. 328-329.
  34. ^ (Armenian) Saghyan, M. «Ռուբեն Հասան-Ջալալյան» [Ruben Hasan-Jalalyan]. Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1980, vol. 7, p. 246.
  35. ^ De Waal. Black Garden, pp. 151-152.

Further reading

  • Gandzasar Monastery, Nagorno Karabakh Republic
  • (Armenian) The Hasan-Jalalyans, Charitable, Cultural Foundation of Country Development.

External links

See also

Several artifacts of the Hasan-Jalalyans survive until today, including Hasan-Jalal's personal dagger, complete with an Armenian inscription, which is currently on display at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.[35]

At the time of the publication of Hewsen's initial article in the journal Revue des Études Arméniennes, the author was unable to trace any survivors of the house but did note that the final two Catholicoi of Albania, Hovhannes XII (1763–1786) and Sargis II (1794–1815), had a dozen brothers altogether, all who left a "numerous progeny by the middle of the nineteenth century." He was also able to identify a woman named Eleanora Hasan-Jalalyan who was living in Yerevan as an artist at the turn of twentieth century.[33] In later years, Soviet sources also listed the biography of Ruben Hasan-Jalalyan (1840–1902), an Armenian writer, poet and lawyer who lived in the Russian Empire.[34]

The flag of the Hasan-Jalalyan family today.

Hasan-Jalalyans today

In the course of the period from the seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century, the Jalalyan house also proliferated in the establishment of several other Armenian noble houses, including the Melik-Atabekyan family, who became the last rulers of the principality of Jraberd. Allahverdi II Hasan-Jalalyan, who was to die in 1813, was the final melik of Khachen when the Russian Empire first entered the region in 1805 during the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813.[27] In 1828, following the end of the second Russo-Persian War, the Russians finally dissolved the office of Catholicos.[32]

Yesai was blamed for this failure by some of the leaders of the Armenian army as they were forced to fend for themselves against the Turkish invasions. [31].Terek River His entreaties continued until 1724, when Peter concluded an agreement with the Ottoman Empire that, oddly, gave the Muslim-populated regions in eastern Transcaucasia to Russia and Christian-populated western regions to the Turks. Russian interest in the Caucasus soon waned after Peter's death in 1725 as its leaders pulled their forces back across the [29] During the

Liberation movement

Following his death, the family truncated Hasan-Jalal's official title to the shorter "Princes of Artaskh."[27] Atabek was ordered by Hulegu to take over his father's position and held the post until 1306. His cousin Vakhtank, whose descendants would become the Melik-Avanyan family, was given control over the region of Dizak. As a method of showing their relation to Hasan-Jalal, his descendants adopted Hasan-Jalal as their surname and appended -yan to the end to form a suffix.[22] The family funded numerous architectural and cultural projects which continue to stand today, including Gandzasar monastery and the adjacent Church of St. John the Baptist. In the late sixteenth century, the family branched out and established melikdoms in settlements in Jraberd, Khachen and Gulistan.[2][28]

Later family rule

Finally, in 1260, Hasan-Jalal decided to ally himself with the forces of the Georgian king David Narin, who was leading an insurrection against Mongol rule. He was captured several times by the Mongols yet his family was able to free him by paying a ransom. The insurrection eventually failed and under the orders of Arghun Khan, Hasan-Jalal was arrested once more and taken to Qazvin, (now in Iran). According to Kirakos Ganzaketsi, Rhuzukan appealed to the Hulagu Khan's wife Doquz Khatun, to pressure Arghun to free her father. However, as Arghun Khan learned of this, he had Hasan-Jalal tortured and finally executed.[9][26] Hasan Jalal's son Atabek ordered several of his men to Iran to retrieve his father's dismembered body, which had been tossed into a well; upon bringing it back, the body was given a proper funeral and buried at Gandzasar monastery.[26]

Hasan-Jalal also attempted to strengthen his alliances with the Mongols by having his daughter Rhuzukan marry Bora Noyan, the son of a Mongol leader.[25] Relations between Armenians and Mongols continued to deteriorate however, and the document issued by the khan failed to uphold its promises.[25]

Royal Standard of the Principality of Khachen (Kingdom of Artsakh) during the reign of Grand Prince Hasan Jalal Vahtangian (1214-1261)

Feeling the need to preserve his power, Hasan-Jalal traveled twice to Karakorum, the capital of the Mongol empire, where he was able to obtain special autonomy rights and privileges for himself and the people under his domain from the ruling khan.[9] Despite this arrangement, the Mongols viewed many of the people of the region with contempt and taxed them excessively. Arghun Khan, the regional Mongol ostikan at the time, placed so many restrictions against Armenians that it prompted Hasan-Jalal in 1256 to journey to the capital once more to protest against the encroachments upon Catholicos Nerses. In response, Batu Khan drafted a document "guaranteeing freedom for Lord Nerses, Katolikos of Albania, for all his properties and goods, that he be free and untaxed and allowed to travel freely everywhere in the dioceses under his authority, and that no one disobey what he said."[24]

In 1236, the Ilkhanate Mongol armies invaded the Caucasus. Prior to them entering Khachen, Hasan Jalal and his people were able to take refuge at Ishkhanberd (located directly south of Gandzasar; also known by its Persian name of Khokhanaberd). Given its formidable location atop a mountain, the Mongols chose not to besiege the fortress and sued for negotiations with Hasan-Jalal: they exchanged his loyalty and military service to the Mongol Empire in return for some of the immediate lands adjacent to Khachen that they had conquered.[17]

The remains of Hasan-Jalal's fortress of Khokhanaberd, as seen from Gandzasar, are seen on the mountain on the left.

Mongol invasion

Gandzasar became home to Armenia's first completed Haysmavurk ([23]

Hasan-Jalal's Armenian Synaxarion

Despite his faithfulness to Christianity, [19] The image of Hasan-Jalal on the drum of Gandzasar's dome has him sitting cross-legged, which Eastmond remarks was a "predominant device for depicting power at the Seljuq court."[20] Muslim influence was also seen in Hasan-Jalal's name: as a fashion of the time, many Armenians adopted Arabic patronymics (kunya) that lost any "connexion with original Armenian names."[21] Hasan-Jalal's Armenian name was Haykaz but the Arabic words in his name, in fact, described his person; thus, Hasan meant handsome; Jalal, grand; Dawla, wealth and governance.[22]

A further testament to this devotion included Hasan-Jalal's commissioning of the Gandzasar Monastery. Construction of the monastery began in 1216 and lasted until 1238. On July 22, 1240, amid great celebration during Vardavar celebrations and in the presence of nearly 700 priests including Nerses, the Catholicos of Albania, the church was consecrated. The monastery went on to become the residence and sepulcher of the family as well as the house of the catholicos; beginning in the fifteenth century, the family also monopolized control over the seat of Catholicos itself, which would from thereon in pass down from uncle to nephew. Hasan-Jalal's son John VII is considered to be the first to have established this practice when he became the Catholicos whereas his nephew, also named John, became the second.[18]

The Gandzasar monastery in present-day Martakert, which went on to serve as the family sepulcher and religious See, was completed in 1240.

Khachen used to be a part of Syunik until numerous Turkic invasions severed it from the rest of the kingdom. The reign of the Hasan-Jalalyan family was concentrated around the Terter and the Khachenaget rivers. Hasan-Jalal's birth date is unknown; however his reign, beginning in 1214 and ending at the time of his death sometime between 1261-1262 in Qazvin, encompassed both Artsakh and the surrounding Armenian regions.[9] When his father Vakhtank died in 1214, Hasan-Jalal inherited his lands and took up residence in a castle at Akana in Jraberd.[15] He was addressed with the titles tagavor (king; Armenian: թագավոր) or inknakal (autocrat or absolute ruler; ինքնակալ) but took the official title of "King of Artsakh and Balk" when he married the daughter of the final king of Dizak-Balk.[16] The medieval Armenian historian Kirakos Gandzaketsi extolled Hasan-Jalal in his work History of Armenia, lacing him with praise for his piety and devotion to Christianity:


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